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The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requested that Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, issue a warning to patients and healthcare professionals about the dangers of Risperdal after receiving 37 reports of adverse events and 16 deaths linked to the drug. In 2003, the FDA alerted physicians and healthcare professionals to the dangers of Risperdal.

Risperdal is prescribed for the treatment of Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, acute mania and other mental illnesses. Patients who took the antipsychotic medication Risperdal manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals may have experienced serious adverse health consequences like Neoroleptic Malignant Syndrome, Tardive Dyskinesia, stroke or, in young males, breast enlargement (gynecomastia.)

Schizophrenia can result in a person’s inability to manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others. The American Psychiatric Association has referred to schizophrenia as, “one of the most debilitating and baffling mental illnesses.” Brain injury, genetic predisposition, additional mental illnesses, drugs and extreme stress can all contribute to an individual’s schizophrenia.

Were you or someone you care about prescribed Risperdal only to experience serious side effects? The dangerous drug lawyers at Lewis & Keller will fight for those who have been affected by this dangerous drug. If you need help or legal representation, fill out the free case evaluation form on this page today or call 336-765-7777 to see what our firm can do for you.

Dangerous Side Effects of Risperdal

In 2012, Johnson & Johnson settled the first of approximately 130 lawsuits alleging Risperdal caused gynecomastia in young male patients. The plaintiffs claim that Risperdal stimulates prolactin production, which is a hormone that controls breast growth and milk production. Dopamine and serotonin levels in schizophrenia patients are also affected by Risperdal; these two hormones control emotions, motivation and movement.

Risperdal’s association with gynecomastia was first noted in 1999 by Psychopharmacology then again in 2009 when the Journal of Child and Adolescent Pharmacology published a study showing elevated prolactin levels lingered in young male patients for up to two years after Risperdal usage stopped. Gynecomastia symptoms can include swollen breasts, tenderness, nipple discharge and pain. Young men suffering from gynecomastia may also feel embarrassed about their condition.

In addition to gynecomastia, other serious side effects of Risperdal include:

  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Muscular weakness
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
  • Stroke, or stroke-like events
  • Tardive Dyskinesia (uncontrollable muscle movements)
  • Weight gain

Conventional antipsychotic medications like Risperdal were first introduced in the 1950s. Conditions like NMS and stroke are potentially fatal, while Tardive Dyskinesia may not be reversible, even if the patient discontinues use of Risperdal. In addition, Risperdal has been linked to diabetes and in a recent study patients taking the drug had a 50% higher chance of developing diabetes than others in their age group who were not taking Risperdal.

Contact Our Firm for Help

The lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson allege side effects that are serious and can be permanent. If you or someone you love took Risperdal, you may wish to consult a law firm to see if your personal injury claim is valid. The compensation that a successful verdict or settlement can bring can help with medical expenses as well as attempt to assist with the pain and suffering associated with these adverse events.

Lewis & Keller is prepared to fight for the maximum amount of compensation eligible to our clients. Fill out the free case evaluation form on this page to see how we can defend your rights today, or call 336-765-7777.